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Friday, May 05, 2006

So far, this year...

So far, this year has been a most intriguing one. I mean, there have been a lot of upheavals, and for the most part it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but like I began by saying, it's only come so far. Sitting here on some kind of apex, no wait, it's more like a precipice of sorts, but sitting here on the verge of something and not knowing exactly what it is or what it's going to be like in the next month or day, or even in the next moment for that matter, I find that I'm feeling strangely relaxed.

Now that's a weird thing to say, isn't it? I mean, it's not very common for one to use the words strange and relaxed together. But you have to admit that there is a strange calm that seems to come about whenever things in your life either stop making sense or begin to fascinate you in some new or different way. Or, on the other hand, it could just be that you woke up one morning thinking, "You know what. I think I'm going to do X or Y today." And for whatever reason, or what it's worth, all of a sudden you find that the day has passed and that you're none the wiser for it. But you don't seem to mind it. I guess some would say it's a mindless existence. But if you're feeling like I am today then you're probably going to tell these people to stop talking because they're disturbing your mindlessly silent peace of mind.

Not one to be seeking cliched phrases to begin pieces of writing with, for they come naturally to me, I'd have to start with "Today was a day like any other". Indeed it was. I came in to work a little bit earlier than usual, found myself waiting around for someone to open my side of the office, or the side of the office with my computer in it, and then I just got down to the 'tasks' for the day. I love the way we use the word task in today's world. It's obviously become acceptable for people to assign tasks, or for someone to tell you to break up more complicated projects into smaller, simpler tasks. Well, I've got news for you. How do you think the guys who built the pyramids would feel if you said these things to them? Oh wait. So, those enormous blocks of stone were supposed to be broken down versions of the bigger, more complicated task, that is the pyramid...right? Now I get it. Man, do I feel stupid. And here I thought management was a degree you earned in college. Hahaha. Alright, one can only dish out so much sarcasm per sitting.

Like I was saying, however, one of these tasks, which is where we last left my train of thought, led me to the discovery of a Speed Typing Test. It's an online version and I have to say that I'm tempted to try and add it to this blog...but that would be cramming this page with too much of a good thing. Wait. Let me not influence your judgment before you take a look at it yourselves.
Screenshot of Speed Typing Test from CalculatorCat.com
It's not too fancy, and like it says when you click the asterisk after the phrase "Your speed is _____ words per minute", it doesn't even count the number of errors. But what I found interesting were the quotes that appear as part of the test. Incidentally, the one you see in the picture is by Sophia Bedford-Pierce.

When I first got to this page, I was greeted by the following quote:

It is a lesson which all history teaches wise men, to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

And for some reason, I wasn't focusing on my score which read 67 wpm...and God knows it had as many errors. I was a little bit thrilled at the relevance this seemed to have on my life at the moment. I would have said oddly thrilled, but that just begins to give people crazy ideas. It wasn't anything like that. But in terms of some of the things that have happened in these last few months, or since this year began, I couldn't help but turn around to see if someone was playing a cruel joke on poor, little, naive, Malayalee, old me. And, as if compelled to do so by sheer curiosity, something that I don't seem to lack in, mind you, I decided to have another go.

This time around, and although the score dropped a little to 62 wpm, again with as many errors possibly, it was none other than a man regarded as one of the most important scientists of the 20th century himself who had this to say:
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

- Albert Einstein

And again I was pleasantly surprised. This time around, however, it was because the quote had to do with a couple of ideas that I've been harping on and on about to people around me, ad nauseum. Yeah, there have been times when I've gotten all worked up and started off in some kind of mock oratorical poise, arms flailing about wildly to exaggerate my every word. And before long, I either have to stop because the people I've been going on and on to have pained expressions or have otherwise been exhibiting signs of looking around nervously for the nearest sharp object to cut me down with, or simply because I have to put a finger under their noses to see if they're still breathing. But what is this idea about? Well, it has to do with knowing that there is more to life than just money or tangible wealth. There's so much around you that you take for granted because you're too busy trying to get while the getting's on. And if you're looking around for that sharp object right now, don't bother.

I guess I've always believed in signs or little messages that seem to come up when you least expect them. I'd even go so far as to say that they come up at times when we seem to be least able to use them...but I'd have to correct that statement and add to it the fact that they may not necessarily be useful at the particular moment in which they reveal themselves. Sure, this is no Jonah story. But if you're waiting around for someone, a normal human being as opposed to a god, to tap you on the shoulder and say, "Here's what you should do because this is how things will turn out for you," then you're going to be feeling perplexed and confused, more often than not. Trust me, I've been prone to having people tell me what they think I'll be good at, or that they think I'm not living up to my true potential. But to me the first argument sounds a bit tainted by opinion and manipulative in some cases, while the latter makes me feel like a cow who is only, and rather lazily I might add, producing 5 liters of milk a day as opposed to the 10 liters that the farmer knows that it's capable of. But, like I said before, there's only so much sarcasm a person can and should dole out in a single sitting. So, here endeth this little bit.

But before I well and truly go, I'd like to wish everyone back in the US and Mexico a Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here's to celebrating life one day at a time...life in general, that is.
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